The Showdown: Battle of The Ages

Last weekend saw six (6) of Nigeria’s best players battle it out online from the comfort of their homes, and it was one of the most exciting and intense showdown of blitz and bullet challenges, which I have seen online. Over the course of a day and 2 nights, some of the most experienced chess players in Nigeria played alongside some of the brilliant young talents in a round robin invitational online match-up, with two (2) games per time control and the time control ranging from 3+2 (3 minutes plus 2 seconds added from move 1) to 2+1 and ended in the 1+1 battle. The matches were played on the lichess.org platform, and some of the highlights were the FM Dabee vs IM Dapsay match, which pulled up to 90+ spectators, the 6-0 drubbing of Grandmasterbomo by FM Dabee, the long awaited FM Dabee vs IM Odirovski, which ended 3.5-2.5 in favor of FM Dabee, amongst other highlights. But anyone who missed #TheShowdown, missed out on a Nigerian Classic Encounter.

Showdown Final (2)
It was a deeply fascinating match that pitted experience against youth and from the onset there was no telling who would emerge as the victor. By the time the dust settled in the match the overall Victor was none other than “semi-retired” Fide Master Adebayo Adegboyega A.K.A Dabee (Translated by some to mean DaBeast).


I have many questions regarding this chess extravaganza that was hosted by Nigeria:

Question:

How was the concept conceived of having chess veterans go against some of the youngsters in the game.

Answer:

In Nigeria, we have had over the board Battle of The Sexes and Veterans vs Youngsters at different points of this decade and this idea for the online version came from one of our Nigerian Chess WhatsApp groups. Nigerian Chess has several WhatsApp groups, and one of the groups had a discussion on a faithful Saturday, where some Nigerian chess players mentioned that they would like to see some of the top players battle it out online to see who is a better online player. IM Adu Oladapo mentioned that as far as online chess goes, FM Dabee is above every Nigerian playing online including himself, which Olympiad Gold medalist IM Odirov objected to, stating the fact that he has gotten as much as 2600 rating on ICC etc. This sparked a revolution among potential sponsors who also wanted to see the matchup, and before long some sponsors came up with about $200 for a showdown of four (4) players, which included FM Dabee, IM Dapsay, FM Bomo and FM Dahny. Another potential sponsor saw the advert, and realising that IM Odirov (Nigeria’s only Olypiad Gold Medalist) had started playing on lichess, decided to throw his hat in the ring and joined the team of sponsors for the event to see the IM and another player added in the mix and create the necessary buzz. After approaching IM Stuffings, who mentioned that he would not be able to meet up because of an important engagement, which could not be missed nor shifted, the organisers turned their sights to the player of the year of February FM Osunfuyi (Beastoflagos), who decided to accept our offer despite having a huge tournament (which like Nakamura and Gibralta before 2018, he had been consistent in winning). This completed the 6-man Battle of the finest veterans and some of the brilliant young minds in Nigeria.

The men behind this much were none other than chess promoters extraordinaire Ogunsiku and David. Ogunsiku Babatunde is also the Chief Executive Officer for Africa Chess Media and David is the Head of Chess in Nigeria for Africa Chess.

Question:

How long did it take to organise such a match?

Answer:

This tournament took just about a week from when the idea was conceived and sponsors registered their interest in sponsoring the event, to the actual organisation of the event.


Question:

Who was your favorite going into the match and how did things pan out?

Answer:

It was always between FM Dabee and IM Odirovski, with IM Adu being the dark horse in the mix that would sneak up on both of them and steal the show.

Question:

Did you predict that the experienced players will triumph over the youngsters?

Answer:

Indeed, considering the online prowess of the veterans thus far, one could not but make them favorites, with the hope that the youngsters would surprise everyone and take the day. Unfortunately, this did not happen.

Question:

Can we expect more such matches in future?

Answer:

Most Definitely! After the event, one of the sponsor who organised the others mentioned the fact that some other prospective sponsors liked what they saw and are willing to contribute to such venture when there is need to make it happen again. With the idea that the players be rotated to accommodate various veterans and different youngsters. As we currently see it, we have just birthed “The Showdown of a Lifetime”! As we have now gotten an added sponsor willing to pitch in strongly, not just with prize funds but with an all expense paid trip to a major Over The Board tournament within the year.

Chess will only become better with this initiative!! Every single follower of the matches are highly appreciated for their time and for making history with Nigeria Chess on the online platform!

3 comments

  1. Can an open tournament be organised for people who are too busy to play over the board chess using the lichess platform?

  2. That showdown lasted me a week of chess. It was intense, it was fun and a lot was learnt chess wise. Few of the matches were shown on lichess TV with close to 200 players watching. Its a great day for Africa Chess. We at Africa Chess. Net are proud of this .

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